THE Moon & Sixpence is one of Bath's most famous restaurants.

When I was a student in the city it was the place to take a very special date for dinner, and spend your whole term's grant on paying the bill.

Now I have a salary, the prices seem no less extortionate, but the quality of the food and the ambience of the place are probably worth it.

Then I discovered the Moon & Sixpence at lunchtime, and I think this is definitely the way to enjoy this restaurant the most.

The lunchtime menu is lighter and avoids some of the heavier, richer foods that I think over saturate the evening menu.

I have had several dinners at the Moon & Sixpence, and always felt the urge to lie down flat on the floor afterwards to let my food settle.

I even went to dinner there with a blind date last year, who found the creamy, extravagant flavours too much for him, and spent most of the meal in the bathroom being very ill, which was hardly conducive to us beginning a romance.

At this time of year the Moon & Sixpence really comes into its own as a great spot for a lunch to really spoil yourself with.

The restaurant has a top terrace, and glorious round courtyard and it is very easy to waste an afternoon on a long lunch here in the sunshine.

What's more, lunchtime is the only time you will get a deal out of this restaurant as you can get a two course set lunch for £6.75, which I think even a student loan might stretch to!

The restaurant is also to be commended for its wine list, which is very comprehensive, and tailored to the lunchtime diner who wants something light and crispy and very well chilled to go with their food.

Here you can also have starters in main course sizes, which means you need never miss out on a dish you really want when you've got a big appetite.

If it is allowed in a review to rage about one dish, then I'm going to.

If you do one thing this summer, go to the Moon & Sixpence and have the smoked salmon with potato salad and rocket for lunch.

It is beautifully presented, with a 'box' of potato salad, wrapped in thick smoked salmon.

This dish can either be served as a starter sized portion for £5.75 or as a larger meal for £7.50.

It is totally delicious, but it won't fill you so full that you have to lie on the floor, which will endear you more to your fellow diners!

Other tempting dishes on the lunch menu include the tea smoked chicken salad with avocado, paw paw, endive and Thai lime, mint and ginger dressing and if you are vegetarian then you could opt for the chargrilled aubergine and crepe parcel with spinach, peppers, gouda cheese and a roasted pepper sauce.

Other mains options include the Cornish crab omelette with shitake mushrooms and hoi sin sauce and Chinese spiced confit of duck with sesame noodles and chinese greens.

The Moon & Sixpence also has a separate bar area which serves pre-theatre and pre-dinner drinks, an ideal place to meet.

The Moon & Sixpence

6a Broad Street


Tel: (01225) 460962

Fact File

Open for lunch from 12 noon; dinner served from 5.30pm-10.30pm.

Lunch menu: starters from £3.75, salads from £5.50 and main courses from £6.50

Serves modern international cuisine

Fully licenced with extensive wine list

Separate bar area for pre-dinner drinks

Reservations recommended

Smoking allowed in some parts of the restaurant